International Assistance and Governance in Afghanistan

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Publication Series on Promoting Democracy under Conditions of State Fragility, Issue 2

International Assistance and Governance in Afghanistan

Afghanistan in 2006 faced an acute crisis with three inter-related dimensions: insurgency, opium, and dissatisfaction with the government and its international backers. Sustainable solutions to these challenges all require a long-term commitment to improved governance in Afghanistan.

Governance involves more than just government, and encompasses broad questions of how Afghan society and its international supporters may deliver public goods in the area of security, representation, and welfare. Nevertheless, the state will have a central role in coordinating this delivery, and state-building is therefore the central concern for the country’s future.

The aid architecture to date has not been consistently oriented towards meeting this challenge, and changes are required both inside and outside the country to do so. The recent transition to an assistance framework based on the Afghanistan National Development Strategy and Afghanistan Compact presents opportunities to make these changes. However, this framework requires further elaboration to most effectively support governance-based solutions to the country’s challenges.


Product details
Date of Publication
June 2007
Heinrich Böll Stiftung
Number of Pages
All rights reserved.
Table of contents

10 Acronyms

11 Introduction

12 The centrality of governance and state-building

15 The assistance architecture and governance

26 Changes for the better? ANDS and the Afghanistan Compact

31 Conclusions and recommendations

34 Bibliography

37 Notes

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